Lessons Learned While On Hold With Insurance/Home Health:
1. It really is possible to keep my stress levels proportionate to the things I'm stressed (or not stressed) about. I am in control of how I react to "stressful" situations and whether or not I allow myself to be bothered by things that are out of my power to control. Knowing that and feeling it are 2 entirely different things and let me tell you, actually FEELING that way is VERY empowering!
2. I am a good multi-tasker. Today while on the phone, I have put laundry in the washer & dryer, opened a yogurt for Kaida, made snarky comments on facebook about being on hold with the insurance company, emailed back & forth with the nurse about the letter she's writing to help us pass through airport security with minimal pain & suffering, found the long lost Christmas Eve on Sesame Street DVD, and cleaned a couple of bums.
3. I have gotten really good at condensing my "what I'm calling about is..." story into a very efficient one-line explanation because it is 100% inevitable that I will be talking to at least 3 different people every time I make a phone call. This is good because then at least I'm doing what I can to waste as little of my time as possible during long phone calls. (again, this goes back to controlling what I can and letting go of what I can't, which in this case is all the time I spend on hold)
4. Sometimes it's good to be put on hold for a little while because it gives you a chance to take some deep relaxing breaths and regain composure before you start
5. Forgive me if this sounds racist or rude, but I've learned that when someone with a very thick accent who is obviously in a call center elsewhere in the world answers the phone and says his name is Steve or Josh or Joe, it's best to ask to be transferred. Especially if he has trouble pronouncing his own name clearly. If I can't understand his English, then he probably can't understand mine either and we're just going to annoy each other and he won't be able to help me with the complex issues we keep having.
6. I don't want to be the cause of somebody's bad day at work (the people I talk to) so I only raise my voice when it's absolutely necessary. I don't swear at them either. Not that I go around swearing at anybody else or anything, but the times that I feel most like swearing are usually during phone conversations with insurance/home health. It makes me feel good when I get off the phone and know that I've gotten my point across but still been nice.
7. I have learned that I am not comfortable being the squeaky wheel, but sometimes other people put me in a position where I am compelled to be the squeaky wheel, and it's possible to do that without being obnoxious about it. It's true what they say about the squeaky wheel getting the oil. I must not be squeaking quite enough yet because they still haven't resolved our issues, but I'm getting better at it when necessary. :)
8. If they made a mistake and you're right and you KNOW you're right, keep calling until somebody listens to you and fixes the problem.
Things I've Gained A Deeper Gratitude For:
1. An unlimited minutes plan on my cell phone.
2. The hands-free device on my cell phone that allows me to multi-task, like doing laundry while on hold.
3. How well Kaida and Raya entertain themselves/each other.
4. The DVD player that helps Kaida be entertained while I'm on the phone for hours.
5. Health insurance. Even if it causes me to spend hours on the phone arguing about claims that shouldn't have been denied, I'm SOOOOOOO incredibly grateful for our health insurance. Raya is a very expensive baby, bless her heart.
6. Our nurse, who spends a huge portion of her time dealing with insurance companies, pharmacies, home health, etc. I honestly don't know how she is able to do everything she does. I feel like everything she does just for us could be a full-time job, let alone all the other patients they have.
7. Our GI doctor, who deeply and genuinely cares for my daughter's well-being. I know there are other good doctors at the same practice who probably would have given Raya a great level of care, but I just don't know if there's another doctor out there who would have had the same passion behind it. It's easy to see that she loves her work and cares about her patients.
8. Since Raya got used to being in the crib at the hospital for very long periods of time, she is now content to be in the play yard in the living room with toys and entertains herself really well.